Founder: Tammy Slater-Kendrick
Education: B.S. Business Administration (summa cum laude); B.S. Computer Information Systems (summa cum laude); A.A. Education
Years of Experience: 30+
Corporate Credentials: From small start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations. Recently retired from the corporate world after spending several years supporting the President of Enterprise Fleet Management, who was also simultaneously the Senior Vice President of the Enterprise Car Sales division. (at $17 billion annual revenue, "Enterprise Holdings currently is ranked on the Forbes list of America’s Largest Private Companies. Furthermore, if Enterprise Holdings were publicly traded, it would rank on Fortune’s list of the 500 largest public companies in the U.S." [source: Enterprise web site]).
Like many administrative and executive assistants, I started in a small office (when I was in my teens) and learned basic office functions from other staff members. For me, that mentor was my step-mother, Hannah. I learned how to type, learned about file systems and scheduling, and learned about customer support by taking calls. Over the years, I've discovered that this is exactly the type of hands-on training most office assistants have - which means their learning was limited to what their mentors could teach.
I first learned about computers (back in the mid-1980s) by buying a home computer. In those days, DOS was the operating system, so you had to type the commands in order to do ANYTHING (which meant you had to first learn all the commands). Even something as simple as finding a file was a complex process. Computers fascinated me - so I learned everything I could. I bought books (the Internet as we know it didn't exist yet) and reformatted the hard drive to completely reinstall the system on several occasions (pretty much because I had screwed it up in the first place!). Back then, few people had home computers - so I was getting an education that most people didn't get, mostly because playing around with the operating system and crashing your computer is generally frowned-upon in an office environment.
It didn't take long for me to realize that the entire business world would soon be relying on computers for everything, so I decided to go back to college to get a degree in Computer Information Systems. I wanted to take what I had already learned and expand my knowledge even further.
I supported myself through my college years by continuing to work in an administrative support role and going to school at night. Along the way, I got promoted to more and more demanding roles. I figured it probably made sense for me to continue school a bit longer and get a degree in Business Administration while I was at it.
Once I graduated with two Bachelor of Science degrees in hand, the goal was to move up the corporate ranks into management roles.
But, no matter what position I took, I found myself continuing to do my own admin-support functions. Also - because of the skill set I had developed over the years, I was often asked to train others (mostly the admin support team). Even while I was managing a team, I would often be called up to perform special projects for the senior leadership team that should have been performed by their respective Executive Assistants (they lacked the skills).
Rather than being upset by the additional workload, I realized that I truly enjoyed using my skills to support the executive team. I had a front row seat to everything that was happening in the company. I had access to all the industry "movers and shakers." And, more importantly, my contributions were greatly appreciated as the management team learned to utilize all the skills I had learned (and continued to learn).
In addition to supporting senior executives from small (mom-and-pop) companies to extremely large, multi-national, multi-billion dollar companies; I also spent several years teaching college-level business and computer software courses. I ran the Administrative Support business program, which gave me an opportunity to instill my love for the administrative support role in others who were looking for a new career path.
Along my journey, I have also continued to learn a great deal from other Admins; without whom no Executive Assistant or Administrative Assistant could survive.
In September 2014, I "retired" from the corporate world. Retiring to the beach is fun, but I've never been one to sit still for very long. I really hated the idea of not being able to continue to teach what I know so well. So, I created SupportingTheTop (STT). STT merges what I learned in college (business and computer programs) and the real-world skills I learned on-the-job from both management and support positions. I combined these experiences with the instructional structure of an organized program similar to the college program I taught.
But, to be most effective, I knew it also needed to include the ability for those supporting senior leaders to be able to communicate with each other...to provide a support system for each other; to share resources; and to ask questions in a secure environment. The member forums have been included to do just that.
Highly skilled CEAs will need to find positions that fit...and senior executives deserve an opportunity to find candidates that will give them the edge needed to succeed in business. So, the final piece of the puzzle will be complete in a few months when Job Postings are added and there are enough "graduates" to be an effective resource.
I look forward to working with current assistants of all skill levels who want to expand their knowledge - and I look forward to working with executives who know that a CEA (Chief Executive Assistant) is worth her weight in gold!